20 March 2012

1) The Delight of Loving My Husband

“If ever two were one, then surely we;
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.” – Anne Bradstreet, 1678

If you know me well at all, you know that I am crazy about Robert!  I was crazy about him while we were dating, and I’ve only fallen more deeply in love with him over these past few years.  He is my very best friend – there is no one I’d rather do anything with.  Robert makes me laugh every day.  He is a godly man and loving leader.  And, he’s pretty fine!  As Pastor Rick Holland says, I totally trust the Lord and His plan for no marriage in Heaven…but, I do think that Robert and I might be able to sneak in a kiss or two, and maybe be neighbors or something for eternity!  But, despite all of my wonderful feelings towards my fabulous husband, we are still two married sinners.  Honestly, we’ve probably had maybe two married “fights…” but we do sin; I sin, daily.  And, that affects the way that we live together.  

In Titus 2, the younger women are admonished to love their husbands.  In Feminine Appeal, Carolyn Mahaney says that many women are able to sacrificially love their husband, all the while thinking they are a jerk; but the love we are called to here, is phileo – to enjoy and delight in them, to passionately and tenderly care for them.  In my young marriage this has not become a hardship (see aforementioned craziness about my man!), and I pray it never does.  But, also, as previously mentioned, I am a sinner.  Carolyn gives a personal example of how her sin affected her marriage, and I saw so much similarity in my own life at times.  She writes, “Sin destroyed my tender love…Anger, bitterness, criticism, pride, selfishness, fear, laziness-all vigorously opposes tender love.”    I identified with that in thinking back to a few weeks ago when I was extremely selfish…

Robert got home from class and Maggie was sleeping.  I had been wanting/needing to get my hair cut for quite some time and the salon down the street from us was having a special for new clients.  So, Robert said he would stay home with Maggie while I walked down to get my hair cut!  So, I get there, and I’m all excited with a picture of a style I’d like on my phone from Pintrest, and wouldn’t you know it, the lady told me that they were going to close early and so they weren’t taking any more customers that day!  Ah!  I was way more disappointed than I should have been.  The stylist said, “Why don’t you come back tomorrow, or this weekend?”  And I replied, “I have a three month old and home, and my husband has class all day tomorrow and he is going camping this weekend with his friends…”  What a sad story, haha.  So, I’m walking home and the discontent, selfish Ashley emerges in full force.  I started letting my mind run wild with so many things I didn’t have that I deserved or didn’t get when I was told I would – o my, even now writing about it I’m so embarrassed! But, it’s true, and maybe you’ve been there?  So, I get home, and I pull one of those quiet mood things, you know, that “I’m fine” deal.  And of course my attitude affected our whole evening until I decided to ask for forgiveness and repent of my selfishness and greed!  (Yikes, I hope you’re not judging me now.)

So, all of that to say, “Keep your heart with all vigilance” Proverbs 4:23.  She writes, “In order to cultivate and maintain a tender love for our husbands, we must guard our hearts against sin.  Our emotions are a warning system God graciously gave us to attract attention to the sin in our hearts…The more we understand the sin in our hearts, the more we appreciate the patience and mercy of God; and this, in turn, produces an attitude of humility and mercy…” (p38-9)

It’s when I sin that my relationship with Robert is most affected, not when he sins!  And, when he sins, a quote from Charles Spurgeon is helpful:

      “He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to  be anything more.  He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case.  He does not expect perfection in the creature, and therefore, he is not disappointed  when he does not find it.”

So, in closing, I LOVE ROBERT WAUHOP and am so thankful for the gift of marriage, the grace of life, and life’s greatest earthly blessing!

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